Ethiopia, which alongside neighbor Kenya has for many years
dominated distance running, had its credibility questioned
earlier this year when six of its athletes came under
investigation for doping.
It subsequently announced that it would carry out tests on up to
The east African nation is also struggling with a slump in form
and won a single gold medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in
August, its poorest haul since 1992.
Amid discontent over mismanagement, Ethiopia's track body held a
closed-door assembly and elected Gebrselassie as its chief late
"I feel so honored to be elected president of the Ethiopian
Athletics Federation! Will work on a great future for Ethiopian
athletics," Gebrselassie said on his Twitter account.
In August, Gebrselassie said the whole athletics set-up "needed
Gebrselassie, considered one of the sport's greatest distance
athletes, gave up competitive running in March last year.
Nearly unbeatable on the track in his prime, he won the first of
eight indoor and outdoor world championship gold medals at
Stuttgart in 1993 and went on to hold world records from the
5,000 meters to the marathon.
He won Olympic gold in the 10,000 meters in 1996 in Atlanta and
2000 in Sydney.
Gebrselassie has since focused on business interests and is
involved in real estate projects, owns four hotels, a coffee
plantation and is an automobile distributor.
(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by Toby Davis)
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